Harold Joseph ‘Hal’ Sherman, 83, spent 23 years in the U.S. Army Chorus sharing his gift of song

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Harold Joseph Sherman
Harold Joseph Sherman

Harold Joseph ‘Hal’ Sherman died Friday, December 4, 2015, in Williamsburg due to cancer.  He had been a James City County-Williamsburg resident for 18 years. Mr. Sherman was born in 1932 in Royal Oak, Mich.

Hal first discovered his love of music in junior high school, where he formed a barbershop quartet that went on to win honors. He continued his musical escapades through high school at Royal Oak High and then at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich. Hal followed his mother’s example by singing in church choirs, where he was often tapped to be a soloist.

Hal met his wife Nancy, during these years, and together they began their life and love of music together. Hal performed in Summer Stock music theater prior to auditioning for the U.S. Army Chorus, a new all male organization being formed. In 1956, Hal and Nancy moved to Arlington, and Hal began his service in the U.S. Army. Hal spent 23 years in the U.S. Army Chorus and served as the non-commissioned-officer-in-charge (NCOIC) after the retirement of the former NCOIC. During this time, he and Nancy had two children, Jeffrey Mark and Jennifer Lynn, and moved to Fairfax. His children inherited their parents’ musical abilities.

Upon retirement in 1979, he and Nancy bought land in Keysville and built a passive solar home that he designed. After 15 years of living the sustainable lifestyle, the pair moved to Farmville, had another new home built (this time for them) and took on new jobs at Longwood College (now University). In 1998, pursuing their passion for fine arts and music, they moved to Williamsburg, where they had resided since. Hal and Nancy joined the Williamsburg Choral Guild, and engaged in numerous other musical and artistic activities with friends and family. Hal and Nancy celebrated 60 years of making beautiful music together this past August.

Hal and Nancy often joked that he married her so that he would no longer need to pay for an accompanist, as Nancy is an accomplished pianist and organist. Hal and Nancy married on August 5, 1955, in Birmingham, Mich., at the church where they both played and sang.

He was preceded in death by two younger siblings, Gail and Tom.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy; son, Jeff (Margaret); daughter, Jennifer Baker (David); three grandchildren, Jessica, retired U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Zachary and Sierra; and sister, Carole Allen (Bud) of Williamsburg.

A musical memorial will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road., Williamsburg.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Hal may be made to the Williamsburg Choral Guild, P.O. Box 1864, Williamsburg, VA 23187; or to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

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